I was intrigued when I discovered Blloon over on Twitter back at the beginning of February. Blloon you ask? Yes. Blloon. No, I’m not missing out an a and referring to the staple of children’s parties everywhere. Blloon is actually a reading app which was released back in November 2014 and available to download from the Apple App Store. Whilst it’s aimed at pretty much everyone, the app especially hopes to target a younger audience, therefore encouraging them to read more, which I think is an amazing idea and I really, really, really hope that it works.
As a curious (read: nosey) book lover I just had to download Blloon to get a taste for it myself and I must admit the more I found out, the more I liked. I think that this app will work for book lovers everywhere; it’s got an amazing set of features, stacks and stacks of choice, it’s dead easy to use and it’s excellent value for money.
Cost-wise it’s free to download the app. You can get to grips with how things work, browse the catalogue of over 700,000 titles and try samples of all of the books on offer and you don’t even have to sign up to be able to do this.
If you buy a book then the cost is worked out in pages. Blloon runs a flexible subscription service meaning you can pay £3.99 a month for 500 pages for £6.99 a month for 1000 pages (Great value, am I right!?) And the best thing is that any pages that you don’t use carry over to the next month so you NEVER miss out.
One of the things that I like best about Blloon is how when you first register you get awarded 500 pages for FREE! That’s at least one whole book – for free!! Plus you don’t have to subscribe if you don’t wish to as there’s the option to buy top-up pages.
The thing that surprised me most when I first downloaded Blloon was the array of books available. There are hundreds of thousands of books, including current bestsellers. I spent ages browsing the selection and I was so impressed with what they had to offer. Not only is the selection great but the way in which the books are categorised really appealed to me to. There’s a ‘Highlights’ page where you can see what’s popular, you can search by genre or there’s also a ‘Readlists’ page which groups together books such as ‘Wake-up Reads’, ‘Duvet Books’, ‘Anti-Valentine’, ‘Bedtime Stories’, ‘Single Life’, ‘Girl Power’, ‘First in a Series’ plus many more. I love searching for books this way and I think it’s really effective in helping you find what you want super-quickly or if perhaps you’re undecided about your next read.
The other feature that appeals to me is the design. Its lay-out is professional and easy to navigate and importantly for me, works well on my iphone. To get the full benefit I’d recommend using this on an ipad, purely because of the screen size, but the fact that it looks clear and still spacious (even on my faithful iphone 4!) is definitely a bonus. Until now I’ve never really tried reading a book on my phone. I’ve used it for reading magazines but never books and I’m surprised at how well it works. All of the features are there that you’d get with an e-reader, for example you can change the size of the text, adjust the brightness, etc. Overall it reads really well and is a lot clearer than I thought it might be.
All in all Blloon gets a big, bookish thumbs up from me. I definitely think they will achieve their aim of appealing to younger readers. It’s bright, accessible and really rather cool… (get me, down with the kids!) It’s perfect for on the go-reading (goodbye boring commutes!) there is so much choice and it’s excellent value for money.